Chipotle has hired two senior HR executives. Ilene Eskenazi will become chief human resources officer on Nov. 27 and Lois Alexis-Collins was hired as chief people officer, field operations, in October, according to a Wednesday press release.
Eskenazi previously served as chief legal and human resources officer at Petco Health and Wellness, while Alexis-Collins previously worked as VP of human resources at ABM.
The new executives will support the company’s growing workforce of over 110,000 employees.
The new executives will help bring new employees on board across the company. Chipotle said it was on track to create over 7,000 new jobs in the U.S. this year and plans to open over 250 new restaurants. At the end of last year, 90% of Chipotle’s restaurants were fully staffed.
The company saw improved onboarding, with more in-person training versus the virtual training it had relied on in the past. This shift has allowed for new employees to onboard faster. Chipotle has also been testing labor-saving technology like an automated makeline and robotic avocado slicer to ease pressure on staff. The chain has focused on training and retention to improve its labor pool, as well.
Eskenazi brings over two decades of experience to her role, according to her LinkedIn profile. She spent over three years at Petco, where she oversaw compensation and benefits, human resources operations, talent management and legal matters, according to the press release. Her experience also includes four years as general counsel and chief human resources officer at Boardriders (formerly Quicksilver) and positions at True Religion Apparel, Red Bull North America and The Wonderful Company.
“Ilene’s vast human resources experience and legal expertise will be instrumental in growing Chipotle’s culture of people development and strengthening the organization as a best-in-class employer. This is critical in Chipotle delivering our mission of Cultivating a Better World and growing to 7,000 restaurants,” said Chipotle CEO Brian Niccol.
In addition to ABM, Alexis-Collins also worked in several talent and people positions at Steak and Shake, Ruby Tuesday, Darden Restaurants and Waffle House. Alexis-Collins will report to Eskenazi while Eskenazi will report to Niccol.